The popular stage revival of the 1982 Alice Walker novel, The Color Purple, begins a six-night run at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas today.

The play, which won a Tony Award for best music revival in 2016, is directed by John Doyle and features music by Allee Willis, Brenda Russell and Stephen Bray.

The play follows the life of a girl, Celie (Adrianna Hicks), who suffers emotional, physical and sexual abuse —  first by her father, Alphonso, and then  by her husband, Mister (Gavin Gregory) — while growing up in Georgia during the early and mid-20th century. The tale of Celie’s transcendence is forwarded by 28 musical numbers that feature a mix of jazz, blues, gospel and ragtime.

A powerful, emotional singing performance enlivens audiences during “The Color Purple” at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas. (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

(Photo: Matthew Murphy)

The film adaption, starring Whoopie Goldberg and directed by Steven Spielberg, was released in 1985 to popular and critical acclaim, garnering 11 Academy Award nominations from which it controversially won zero.

The first stage adaption ran on Broadway from  December 2005 to February 2008. It was produced by now-disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein, along with Oprah Winfrey, Quincey Jones and Scott Sanders. That production received 11 Tony Award nominations in 2006, winning one for best performance by a lead actress in a musical garnered by LaChanze.

The current revival began its run in 2015 and featured Jennifer Hudson in the role of Shug Avery, Celie’s ally and the object of Mister’s affection. Cynthia Enviro reprized the role of Celie, which she played in a 2013 London production.

Actors share a poignant moment with the audience during a scene in the musical stage revival of “The Color Purple.” (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

(Photo: Matthew Murphy)

Georgia-native Walker won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for The Color Purple in 1983. She has also written the novel Meridian, as well as collections of short fiction and poetry.

“(Producer) Scott Sanders and I developed a very close working relationship, and he was very attentive to my feelings about certain things that were left out of the movie,” Walker told The Huffington Post in 2015, just prior to the revival’s opening.

“For instance, I always wanted Mister to be included in the family toward the end of the play, as he was not at the end of the movie. And so, they restored that reintegration of him into the fabric of the play.”

Adrianna Hicks, who plays Celie, sings a solo number during the musical stage revival of “The Color Purple” performing at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas. (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

Adrianna Hicks plays Celie in the North American tour of The Color Purple. (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

She said she wants the work to stand as a cultural touchstone, particularly for African-Americans.

I want it to stand as an expression of the possibility of our absolute freedom,” she said. “And especially our spiritual freedom. Because, until the spirit is free, it’s very hard to free any other part. And we desperately need to be freed from so many shackles.”

The Color Purple runs approximately 150 minutes, including a 20-minute intermission. Following the Las Vegas shows, the tour will travel to San Francisco for performances May 1-27 and Los Angeles, May 29 through June 17.

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